Hospital ‘mafia’ could have operated for years; Rapid Covid tests don’t work; Corpus Christi sales go virutal; Utility payments forgiven

Jun 12, 2020 | 8 comments

Jueves, 11/6/2020

Hola, Todos –

Happy belated unApril Fools Day. Ecuador is keeping its beef. <Was that fake news too plausible?>

Del cuerpo del periodico –

Inti Raymi – The provincial government presented “Hatun Runa Raymikuna” (La Fiesta Mayor de los Andes), the agenda for Inti Raymi 2020. The activities start with a call for videos related to this Andean celebration. The videos will be published on social networks el 21/6 – the main day of the festival.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Pruebas rápidas no sirven (Quick tests don’t work) – According to the Consejo Cantonal de Salud (Cantonal Health Council), 20,000 rapid COVID tests that the city bought for $215,000 don’t work for diagnosing the disease. They can be used for screening, but they give up to 30% false positives. <Which can give some people the feeling that they’re bulletproof and can do whatever they want since they’ve already had it.> The city bought 2 batches of 10,000 with the first from the Canadian lab, Artron Bioresearch. According to the FDA in the US, those shouldn’t be distributed because they don’t pass required quality standards. The second batch was from the Chinese lab Wondfo. The WHO has those on the list of rapid tests they don’t endorse. That test was withdrawn in India and Spain where they produced 65% false negatives. <At that rate, why test at all?> A city spokesman said that the best prevention is to maintain bio-security measures.

City Councilman Cristian Zamora is asking the comptroller’s office to investigate city purchase practices.

Hospital corruption case- According to María Paula Romo, ministra del Gobierno, Daniel Salcedo could be the punta del ovillo (tip of the ball – tip of the iceberg?) in a mafia of corruption that has been operating in the country for several years. Since 2014, he has received millions in contracts from the federal ministries, the government of Guayas, and the Consejo de Participación Ciudadana. She believes he will be the key to open up investigations into other officials and businesses.

Corpus Christi – Due to the suspension of the feria de dulces (sweets fair) of Corpus Christi, makers and sellers of the candies and sweets are turning to social networks, especially Facebook, to market their products. There will also be home delivery. The nuns of La Inmaculada Concepción and el Carmen de San José will be part of an initiative called #CorpusChristi2020. They will offer the sweets and other products made in the convent at their locations. Corpus Christi is to candy makers as Black Friday is <or was> to retailers. They sold their products for shipment to other parts of Ecuador and to other countries. <Your order comes with a toothbrush and toothpaste.>

Audits – The Contraloría General del Estado (Federal Comptrollers Office) received a new request to review purchases made by the city during the health emergency. Councilmember Cristian Zamora said that the city could have saved $120,000 and provided documentation. One of his examples was the purchase of N95 masks for $4.85/ea. when they were available on social networking sites for $2.90. <And you were complaining about being a victim of gringo pricing? Be glad you’re not a government agency.>

Wanted – The Unidad Ejectutora del Proyecto Tranvía (UEPT – Tram Project Executing Unit) is looking for the person who defaced a tram car and used a marker on equipment at a stop el último sábado a las 20:30. UEPT has published photos of the individual while he was vandalizing the tram.

Cough test – A research group from the UPS is conducting a study to see if COVID-19 can be diagnosed through a cough. They are collecting recordings of coughs of people who do not have symptoms to see if they can develop a tool for negative diagnoses. If you want to be part of the study, go to their web page at <Is anyone investigating if dogs can be trained to sniff out coronavirus? Or is that too dangerous for the dog?>

Intrafamily violence – From 12/3 to 31/5, ECU911 has registered 28,367 incidences related to intrafamily violence on a national level. This converts to 268 calls per day.

Pardoning of payments – The cantons of Chordeleg, Nabón, Pucrá and San Fernando are forgiving payments for basic services such as water and garbage for marzo, abril, and/or mayo.

And that’s all for today so hasta la próxima semana? –



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